Latest Home Video Reviews
THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut (2004)
May be a naively simple variation on that other George—Orwell—but it remains a dazzling triumph of creativity and style over financial limitations.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Richard Linklater brings a new novelty to a Dick adaptation: fidelity to the source.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The encoded bloom is off the digital rose in
The Matrix Reloaded
The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season (2001)
In its thirteenth year on the air,
may have been past its prime, but it retained a keen sense of the bizarre while also recommitting to telling some family-themed stories with a more heartfelt core.
The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season (2010)
[This] blend of swoony romance and horror-styled action...[isn't] shy about detonating plot twists.
Cemetery Junction (2010)
A humble riff on the well-worn coming-of-age film.
Withnail & I (1986)
One of the funniest elements of
Withnail & I
is that it concerns three varieties of drama queen: the flamboyantly dark-minded Withnail; neurotic, ill-equipped Marwood, and the larger-than-life Monty.
Time Bandits (1981)
A smart and imaginative fantasy with appeal for the whole family is always cause for celebration...
rivals Roald Dahl in its surrealism and satire.
Mona Lisa (1986)
As a study of social façades as a means of social climbing, and as a character study of Hoskins' would-be angel,
The Long Good Friday (1980)
The screw-turning plot is great fodder for Hoskins and Mirren, who expertly calibrate their stressed-out character arcs.
Lost: The Complete Sixth Season (2010)
After six attention-grabbing seasons on the network airwaves,
has turned out to be more than the sum of its parts.
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)
Its unique oddball blend of fatalistic Hemingway-esque masculinity, swoony romance and mythology, literary allusions...and grab bag of styles...makes
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
nearly as hypnotic as the romance it retells.
Darkly funny, haunting, and perhaps hopeful...there's a keen sense of absurdism (and in Agnès Godard's brilliant photography a sort of surrealist realism, if there is such a thing) in the circumstances.
Furry Vengeance (2010)
Brought to you by Participant Media, makers of
. Next time, guys, give a hoot and don’t pollute the multiplex. Save the children.
Elvis on Tour (1972)
Consummate showmanship...evidence of a huge pop idol and savvy showman with a finely tuned stage act.
The play widely regarded as the best piece of dramatic literature ever written...[in] the only unexpurgated big-screen version.
The Last Song (2010)
How do I find thee ridiculous,
The Last Song
? Let me count the ways...
The Joneses (2010)
The premise begs for wicked bite, but winds up poking along amiably. That’s the problem with these Joneses: it’s all too easy to keep up with them.
Date Night (2010)
Much as I would prefer to see the subtler Carell of
Dan in Real Life
comically negotiate a struggling marriage to Fey, we’re in a land of gunfire and super-computers.
Bull Durham (1988)
Deserves its status among sports films, but its ongoing appeal reflects that it's something more: an old-fashioned romantic comedy that succeeds in establishing and deepening memorable characters through memorably flavorful dialogue.
Escape From New York (1981)
New York is the ghost town and Van Cleef the corrupt sheriff in
Escape from New York
's thinly disguised postmodern Western, with ex-soldier Russell as the anti-establishment hero who won't cotton to anyone's code but his own.
Being Human: Season One (2010)
So a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost walk into a bar...
What's Up Doc? (1972)
No one is going to match Grant and Hepburn, but Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand give it the ol' college try in the criminally entertaining
What's Up, Doc?
The Ghost Writer (2010)
The director’s shrewd and witty approach to the material demonstrates his finely tuned sense of the absurd.
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Though lacking in narrative and comic sophistication,
National Lampoon's Vacation
has something arguably more important: built-in, instant audience identification.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
Stylish...sitcomedic...plays it pretty safe.
Road to Perdition (2002)
The top-billed actors deliver: Hanks with his resonant reserve and Newman in conveying Rooney's failed attempt to live up to his self-image as the ultimate just and loving patriarch.
James and the Giant Peach (1996)
Doesn't quite click on all levels, and the story and character development feels truncated, but there's still plenty to enjoy about its weird occurrences.
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
I see London, I see France, I see Chevy do a dumb dance.
Black Orpheus (1959)
Seductive blend of mythology and travelogue...there's still sensual pleasure in the urban scenery, colorful visions, and music and dance, most of it defined by joyful abandon.
A Prophet (2010)
Malik’s boxed-in circumstances certainly press ethical questions for the viewer, but in Rahim’s psychologically acute performance, Malik is never less than understandable—more often than not, he’s disturbingly sympathetic.
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
The invitation to introspection about empty American lives is a good idea, but who are we kidding?
Hot Tub Time Machine
is built for gross gags...and wan '80s nostalgia...
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Lee brought a distinct elegance to the wuxia genre of mythic, lyrical martial arts pictures...a breathtaking visual and emotional experience for the viewer...
's success partly owes to Bong's twisty mystery script, but the South Korean film wouldn't fly without the achingly intense performance of Kim Hye-ja.
On the page and on the screen,
riffs on the wish-fulfillment afforded by tales of derring-do and the ill-advisedness of taking on the task in real life.
Batman: Under the Red Hood (V) (2010)
With its colorful, exciting action and well-defined emotional underpinnings,
Batman: Under the Red Hood
is the best yet in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
The extended rescue climax provides the heights of
Steamboat Bill, Jr
.'s ingenious choreography, but Keaton's brilliance as a performer shines just as brightly (if not more) in the simpler moments...
White Collar: The Complete First Season (2010)
It's a fine premise to meet with USA's 'Characters Welcome' formula...Creator Jeff Eastin keeps it light, focusing on the odd couple of straight-laced Burke and swingin' Caffrey...
Cop Out (2010)
Once you've boogied out to Harold Faltermeyer's self-parodic "Axel F"-style music, it's all downhill from there.
The Losers (2010)
This comic-book knockoff of
is a lot easier to enjoy than Fox's sanctioned remake of
. Perhaps that's because Sylvain White's
is self-aware of its schlock value...
All site content © 2000-2016 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 02/11/2016 07:04:18AM.